Pharmacy Student Attends Leadership Conference

May 2017

Thirty-eight pharmacy students from around the country gathered for the annual Cardinal Health Student Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas, May 18-20, includining Ashley Hiltunen of the PBA Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy.

“The conference focused on the opportunities that pharmacy has to offer,” the 22-year-old New York native said. “It focused on the business side of pharmacy, showing us aspects we wouldn’t have expected.”

Cardinal Health, a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, sponsors the student leadership conference to create a forum for the future leaders of pharmacy to develop skills while interacting with their peers from over 25 colleges of pharmacy.

Hiltunen enjoyed the etiquette dinner during the conference, where they gave the students tips on how to handle a business lunch or dinner.

“I had no idea how much thought and mannerisms went into something like that,” Hiltunen said.

Hiltunen grew up surrounded by medical professionals. With a dad in pharmaceuticals and her aunts as nurses, she knew she would end up in the medical field. After a conversation with her mom in high school, she decided she would give pharmacy a chance.

But it didn’t take long.

“I fell in love with the chemistry of it all,” Hiltunen said. “It’s amazing that one tiny drug can impact the entire human body.”

Hiltunen is currently a P2 and hopes to work at Memorial Sloan Kettering, a well-known hospital in New York, where she can focus on pediatric oncology.

Dana Brown, associate dean for academics at the Gregory School of Pharmacy and a reviewer of applications for attendance to the conference, saw a lot of potential in Hiltunen related to her desire to pursue pediatric oncology.

“It was our hope that her participation at this conference would continue to fuel her interest in health system pharmacy and align her connections (to those) who can help achieve her goals,” Brown said. “We look with anticipation to seeing PBA represented in NYC one day as Ashley practices pediatric oncology. 


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